Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 4, Episode 5

The $2,000,000 Defense (2 Nov. 1958)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 104 users  
Reviews: 3 user

The fate of accused killer Lloyd Ashley depends on whether or not his lawyer Mark Robson can prove that a gun can fire accidentally, even with the safety catch on.



(teleplay), (short story)
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Title: The $2,000,000 Defense (02 Nov 1958)

The $2,000,000 Defense (02 Nov 1958) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Episode cast overview:
Himself - Host
Mark Robeson
Lloyd Ashley
Wendell Holmes ...
Mr. Herrick
Lori March ...
Eve Ashley
Herbert Anderson ...
John Keller
Edwin Jerome ...
Judge Cobb
Herbert Lytton ...
Doctor (as Herbert C. Lytton)
Ralph Barnard


Facing the death penalty for murdering his wife's lover, Lloyd Ashley guarantees his lawyer Mark Robson $2 million if Robson gets him off, as a guilty verdict looks increasingly certain. Ashley claims the gun fired accidentally, though the safety catch was on, but ballistics expert John Keller testifies that that's impossible. Written by David Stevens

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Release Date:

2 November 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


$2,000,000 in 1958 had the same purchasing power as $15,100,000 in 2010. See more »

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User Reviews

The Victim and the Story Are Full of Holes!
7 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One impression that these Hitchcock pieces make is that there are absolutes in the judicial system. For instance, nearly every murderer who appears on the show ends up executed. Lawyers can play fast and loose with evidence and drive their witnesses to confession. Call it the Perry Mason syndrome. In this one, Leslie Neilson is guilty of murder. He has killed his wife's lover. He hires Barry Sullivan, a high powered attorney to defend him. In the process he offers Sullivan a fortune to get him off. During the crime, Neilson claimed he only meant to scare the guy and that the safety was on when the gun hit the floor and went off. Sullivan hatches a plot, dependent on so many pitfalls that it is laughable. He even shoots himself and appears with his arm in a sling in court. He depends entirely on an honest, competent man to fall apart at the last minute, probably because in his heart hearts he doesn't want to see others hurt.

Of course, there's one more kicker which is the Hitchcock touch, but I will let those who haven't seen the episode watch for themselves. Even in the fifties with so little technology available, this could not happen.

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